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Visit the Famous Ocean Bays of New Brunswick

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 by in Canada | 0 comments

The Canadian province of New Brunswick is famous for its beautiful ocean bays. They offer dramatic scenery, unspoiled beaches, delicious seafood, abundant wildlife and endless locations for hiking, swimming and kayaking.

New Brunswick by Smulan77, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License  by Smulan77 

 

Bay of Fundy

 

 

 

Bay of Fundy, NB by Travich, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by Travich 

 

Bay of Fundy, NB by Travich, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by Travich 

 

Between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia lies the striking Bay of Fundy, which stretches for 270 kilometers and experiences higher tides than anywhere else on the face of the Earth. It is difficult to fathom, but on a daily basis, over 100 billion tons of water moves into and out of the Bay of Fundy.

This breathtaking area offers plenty of places to see and activities to enjoy. Many visitors come to the area because of its reputation for fantastic whale watching opportunities. A range of companies offer comprehensive and affordable tours. Between June and October, the majestic Finback whales pass by on a regular basis, as do the smaller, but no less beautiful minke whales. In the second half of the summer, Humpback whales can be spotted.

The bay, which has been protected from overfishing, is home to a fascinating array of other creatures, drawn to the abundant food supply. Seals hang around throughout the year, while porpoises can be seen swimming during the summer months. Eagles soar through the sky looking for unsuspecting prey, while diverse species of seabirds, from guillemots to cormorants to eider, form colonies at the water’s edge.

You would have to be crazy or vegetarian to visit the Bay of Fundy without sampling some of its exquisite seafood. The bay’s healthy ecosystem produces mouth-watering scallops, lobster, fish and mussels, and local wineries offer perfectly complimentary, award-winning wines. Two of the area’s most popular wineries are Domaine de Grand Pre, for its grape-based wines, and the Waterside Winery, for its blueberry-based wines.

If you are not a seafood aficionado, you can opt for sampling the area’s locally grown fruit and vegetables in restaurants and at farmers’ markets. One challenge for vegetarians might be to try eating “dulse,” which is a food made from locally sourced seaweed. Dulse is packed with nutrients, but, depending on your palate, is not always easy on the taste buds.

All that amazing food will give you the energy to take on adventurous physical activities. There are numerous bayside hikes, with clearly marked trails and educational information, and, of course, sea kayaking on the Bay of Fundy offers boundless opportunities for exploration. If you are after something more exhilarating, you could consider visiting the Reversing Falls in Saint John, New Brunswick, and taking a jet boat ride.

Chignecto Bay

 

 

Three Sisters - high and dry by ChrissyJ, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by ChrissyJ 

 

 

Chignecto Bay is an inlet situated within the northeastern section of Bay of Fundy. It is renowned for its magnificent shoreline. On the southern side, the coast runs along the Cobequid fault, and is a sheer escarpment, made up of more than twelve different kinds of rock, from red sandstone to grey slate. Sea kayaking enables stunning views of this natural masterpiece, though before you go, make sure that are aware of the movements of the surging tides.

The west side of Chignecto Bay features the Isle Haute, with its steep basalt cliffs, while the beautiful cliffs of Cape Door can be seen in the east.

You can camp at either Refugee Cove, a remote, rocky beach found along the southern coastline, or at Eatonville. Established in the 1870s, Eatonville was once a busy settlement, with sawmilling and shipbuilding as its major industries. However, its last full-time resident moved away in 1943, so the abandoned village is now a haunting and romantic tourist destination.

Chignecto Bay, though more difficult to reach and travel around than some of the other bays of Brunswick, certainly rewards visitors who make the effort.

Cumberland Basin

 

Joggins Fossil Cliffs
Fossilized tree at Joggins Fossil Cliffs by gorbould, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by gorbould 

 

DSC07716 by gorbould, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by gorbould 

 

Like Chignecto Bay, Cumberland Basin is another inlet of the Bay of Fundy. It is most famous for its UNESCO Heritage listed Joggins Fossil Cliffs. Fifteen kilometers of cliffs hold a visible and accessible fossil record of the ‘Coal Age’, which occurred around 300 million years ago. The Joggins Fossil Center provides opportunities to for visitors to learn about the importance of the Fossil Cliffs in developing our current understanding of natural history. Guided tours are available for those who seek an in-depth experience.

The Cumberland Basin also promises an array of inspiring adventures, from back-country camping to kayaking to touring local communities, such as Amherst on the New Brunswick/Nova Scotia border, with its Cumberland County Museum, or Minudie, where you can find the Amos Thomas Seaman Heritage House.

Shepody Bay

 

 

Found at the head of the Bay of Fundy, Shepody Bay is an important coastal wetland and a significant destination for bird watchers. In fact, BirdLife International recognizes Shepody Bay as one of the globe’s 10,000 “Important Bird Areas.” It is also a member of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Network and is on the Ramsar Convention’s list of “wetlands of international importance.”

Caraquet Bay

In the northeast of New Brunswick, bordered by Caraquet and Bertrand in the south, and by Maisonnette in the north, lies Caraquet Bay. Less dramatic than the Bay of Fundy, Caraquet Bay is also not as popular with tourists and thus offers a quieter, more peaceful alternative. The visitors who do frequent Caraquet enjoy its picturesque beaches, interesting port area and, tasty oysters, which grow wild.

Chaleur Bay

 

 

 

Chaleur Bay is situated between New Brunswick and Quebec. You can explore this tranquil bay by cruising on a boat, driving along the Acadian Coastal Drive or by hiking along one of the striking Appalachian trails.

Chaleur Bay is a magnet for musicians, artists and writers and thus has a reputation as a center for artistic exploration. Indeed, the gorgeous surroundings seem to offer plenty of inspiration for creative pursuits.

Bird watching is a popular activity in the area. Visitors will usually spot bald eagles, colorful puffins and, occasionally, if they are lucky, a Piping Plover, which is actually an endangered species. Chaleur Bay’s potential as a bird watching mecca was initially noticed by John James Audubon, the nineteenth century naturalist, who was fascinated by the area’s 240 or so bird species and recorded them in his sketches.

New Brunswick’s famous ocean bays offer a diverse range of vacation experiences. Lose yourself in the spectacular scenery, marvel at the surging tide, spend hours watching whales, seals and birds, stroll along an easily accessible hiking trail or brave the ocean on a sea kayaking adventure.

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